Recently, negotiators from 196 countries finalized a rulebook for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement at the climate change conference held in Katowice, Poland. Katowice meet is the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). This highlights the strong support among people of all nations for urgent action to avert dangerous climate change.
Carbon neutrality has been in the news for a few months now. There is a considerable discussion on how the world takes efforts to achieve this goal. At the same time, there has been considerable focus on India’s future commitments and plans regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and when the country would achieve carbon neutrality or net-zero emissions as well. With the major powers like the USA, the EU and China announcing dates to achieve carbon neutrality, all the eyes are on India what decision it takes given its developmental and climate change mitigation objectives.
Recently, Uganda became the first African country to submit Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) results to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). According to Food and Agriculture Organization, the result submission paved the way for result based payments to the country. In this context, it is important to study REDD+ and its role in climate action.
A few years back, Beijing and Delhi were competing with each other for being some of the most polluted cities in the world. Between 2000 and 2009, Beijing was far worse than Delhi in terms of air pollution. However, in recent years, the air quality of Beijing began improving while Delhi’s pollution levels continued to increase. In 2017, the concentration of PM 2.5 (particulate matter with a size of 2.5 microns or less) in Beijing was less than half that of Delhi. The number of “very unhealthy” days in Delhi is four times more than that of Beijing. The reason behind Beijing’s successful reduction of atmospheric pollution is due to the series of stringent measures to reduce the carbon emission into the atmosphere. One among them is the focus on the automobile sector. In 2017, the quota for new vehicles was fixed at 150,000 cars of which 60,000 was allotted only to the fuel-efficient cars. In 2018, this quota was reduced to 100,000. Although an average Indian contributes only a microscopic amount of transport-related carbon dioxide emissions to the global climate change, congested streets and polluted air are common aspects seen in the Indian metropolises. It is not only discomforting on a daily basis but is also a long-term health hazard to those who are living in big cities like Delhi.